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Environmental department approves final major permit for UP mine

IRONWOOD, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it has approved the last major permit needed for constructing a copper and silver mine in the western Upper Peninsula.

The agency said Tuesday the permit dealing with protection of wetlands, inland lakes and streams was issued after many months of state and federal review. Officials say the permit allows Orvana Materials Corp. “to extract useful elements” and protect natural resources to the extent possible in the mine near Ironwood.

According to the DEQ, Orvana made numerous changes in its original proposal to limit environmental damage in response to government and public comments. Among them are replacing culverts with bridges, adding wetland preservation tracts, and using natural design instead of ditches for channels that will divert streams around a waste rock basin.

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